From Top of the Rock to Bandon Preserve, the top 10 par-3 golf courses open to the public

The recent Bass Pro Shop Legends of Golf had a separate par-3 event -- featuring the likes of Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player -- that was played on the spectacular Top of the Rock par-3 course, which overlooks Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo. It reminded us once again how much fun a good par-3 course can be.

Which brings us to this: Where does Top of the Rock, designed by Johnny Morris with Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer, rank among the best short courses in the United States? And what are the top 10 par-3 courses? Not all of them are nine or 18 holes, by the way. One is 12 holes, and our top-ranked par-3 course in America is 13 holes. So scroll through the photos to find out. Enjoy.

Top 10 par-3 courses open to the public

Mobile, Ala.


Lake Geneva, Wis.


Las Vegas, Nev.


Watersound, Fla.


Palos Verdes, Calif.


Nipomo, Calif.


Palm Beach, Fla.


3. Threetops Course at Treetops Sylvan Resort

Gaylord, Mich.


Hollister, Mo.


Bandon, Ore.


Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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If you can ever get to play the par 3 course at Hamilton farms in New Jersey, do it.  Totally amazing

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Time to play short course at Mountain Shadows, Paradise Valley AZ. Opening November 2016 by invitation only through the end of year. Then opens to,the public along with new 183 room resort. Designed by Forrest Richardson. See Mountain Shadows.com.

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I am thinking you might want to consider the oldest golf course on Cape Cod for next year's list. Might be the most scenic golf course on the East Coast!  http://www.highlandlinkscapecod.com

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From Top of the Rock to Bandon Preserve, the top 10 par-3 golf courses open to the public